MAKE poverty history in Kirklees and boost health is the message from a Huddersfield health chief today.
The call from director of public health Sohail Bhatti comes as plans were unveiled to hold a conference in Huddersfield to address major inequalities in health across the town.
The July 25 meeting - the venue has yet to be announced - will see key decision-makers from across West Yorkshire gather to look at ways of working together to promote health.
The move coincides with shocking figures revealed in an annual health report last week.
The report showed how large numbers of the town's population were living in deprivation.
This, in turn, makes them more likely to suffer heart disease, lung disease, mental health problems, some cancers and conditions including asthma and bronchitis.
Dr Bhatti, of Huddersfield Central and South primary care trusts, said: "Lots of people live in absolute poverty all over the world.
"But we have inequality, where we have relative poverty in our neighbours.
"This limits choices, reduces lifespan and zaps the energy to fight off disease and infection. Inequality is a silent killer.
"It seems to create harm to health, because we rate ourselves against how well our neighbours are doing."
Dr Bhatti said tackling poverty was important to prevent inequalities cascading down through the generations.
He added: "I am passionate about the fact that we need to tailor our efforts to those who have the greatest need for what we can deliver.
"We should be working across the board to prioritise these issues and make a sustained effort to make a difference.
"We are already doing that, but it is going to take a long time to address these problems."